Raising public awareness in order to ensure safety for all.
- Location : Whole network
The CFL regularly campaigns to make safe behaviour near the tracks a fact that goes without saying. The topic remains important because, according to the UIC, more than a quarter (27%) of all serious rail accidents and almost a third (32%) of all fatalities in 2021 were caused by accidents at level crossings. These accidents are due to disregard of the rules of the road traffic regulations. There are many reasons for misbehaviour in road traffic, e.g. lack of time, distraction (mobile phone, GPS navigation devices, etc.), routine, ingestion of psychoactive substances, speed or fatigue.
The Road Traffic Code stipulates that a level crossing must not be entered by a vehicle or a pedestrian when the red lights indicate that the barriers are closing before a train passes. Even if the barriers are open, and especially if there is a traffic jam, one should wait in front of the barriers until the level crossing is completely clear and thus safe to cross. A pedestrian who nevertheless crosses a closed level crossing risks a fine of up to 3,000 euros. A driver who disregards red lights indicating that a level crossing is closed loses two points on their driving licence and must pay a fine of up to 145 euros.
Nowadays trains are much quieter than they used to be and you don't hear them, especially when there is a headwind. People also misjudge the speed of a train and its braking distance. A train can travel at speeds of up to 140 km/h. The braking distance can be between 400 and 1,200 metres. At this speed and this braking distance, it is impossible to avoid an accident - unless you observe the road traffic regulations.